Mum whose baby died with covid after she refused to get jab 'doesn't regret the decision'
She said she didn't get jabbed because she'd heard 'horror stories' about the vaccine's effects
A mum whose baby died from covid-19 after she refused to be vaccinated has spoken for the first time, saying that she does not regret her decision.
Katie Leeming, 22, gave birth to her daughter Ivy-Rose Court 14 weeks premature after becoming so sick with covid that she had to give birth after just 26 weeks - but little Ivy-Rose then tested positive for covid-19
Leeming said she had been put off from getting vaccinated after reading stories about the vaccine on pregnancy groups online.
The mum-of-three from Blackpool said: "One lady said she had received the vaccination and that her baby was stillborn the week after.
"There obviously could have been other reasons for this, and the vaccine might not have caused it, but it scared me and put me off.
"Just hearing the horror stories about women having miscarriages made me not want to take the risk.
"I don't know if it would have made a difference or not. I had thoughts in my mind about it - what if I'd had it? Would she still be here today? What if it's my fault? But my midwife told me I can't afford to think like that.
"I could have still caught covid-19 after the vaccination, or worse, if I did have it and something happened anyway, I would have blamed the vaccine."
She added that her partner, Lee, had caught covid despite being double-jabbed.
After first testing positive for covid in early October, Leeming said that she just had "normal flu-ish symptoms" but on day seven started having palpitations and a fast heart rate. She apparently didn't feel the baby kick that day and went to hospital as a result.
She continued: "It was there they said that the baby's heart rate wasn't as it should have been, and they had to deliver her there and then.
"I have had two other premature children, so I knew what I was expecting, and what the risks were.
"But I was trying to be as positive as I could, knowing how my other children survived. It wasn't until five days later, when she caught covid, that she started deteriorating.
"On October 21, she started going down quickly. They told us to go in and be with her, because they weren't sure she was going to make it through the night."
Ivy-Rose's heart rate and oxygen levels had severely declined and, after she continued to deteriorate, her parents made the decision to turn off her life support in the early hours of October 22.
Leeming said that she has "been through all the stages of grief and back again."
Together with partner Lee, the pair now plan on giving their daughter a fitting funeral with flowers and a horse-drawn carriage.
Leeming's friend Simone Threlfall, 25, set up a fundraiser to help with the funeral costs.
She said: "You don't expect to have to pay for your child's funeral. There's nothing that anyone can do to prepare for such a terrible thing.
"There's nothing we can do to make it right. All we can do is help. Katie would never ask for help, but when I told her about the fundraiser she was relieved; it was like a weight had been lifted. It's something so small, but it can mean a lot."
A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added: "We are deeply saddened about the death of Ivy-Rose and all our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly sad time."
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